Hollywood Fringe 2018
In an imagined near-future, slave robots rebel.
This is an ambitious fringe show that nestles in that sweet spot between Sci-fi and Broadway camp. Written by Jonathan Winton Brewer and Pam Eberhardt, “The Runaway Clone” is (over?) full of big characters. Katherine Washington plays the title-role and I’d like to have seen more of her, but there are sub-plots for everyone, so the A story seems a little under-fueled. Any gaps and inconsistencies are papered over by an all-star cast.
Pam Quinn makes a funny and frantic villainess, Laura. Her agency for clones has sprung a leak and her favorite is missing. Laura dispatches her dim-witted brother Chad (Peter Carrier) to find and infiltrate the band of escaped clones. Meanwhile Brian (Scott Golden) is mourning his recently deceased wife and there’s a love/hate relationship between the two news anchors (un)covering the story.
All the singers are excellent, the standout for me being Washington, both she and Golden as Brian have a welcome grounded presence amongst all the mayhem that keeps us invested in their story. Emily Clark and Jeff Scot Carey make a fine double act as the anchors and both shine individually as comedians and singers.
Musically, the show is complex but tuneful with some very intricate and difficult passages, the cast of ten being accompanied by pianist and musical director Jake Anthony.
Deftly directed by J. Bailey Burcham on a largely bare stage the show gives everybody their time to shine and the performers all step up. Parissa Koo, Adriana Colon and the hilarious Lucas Alifano were great as the escaped clones. Special credit should be given to Shannon Gerrity who was quietly delightful as the computer and is also credited as assistant director.
The plot gets a little convoluted as the strands interweave but the brio of the cast keeps it all afloat and the audience were lapping it up.
The tight-rope between self-aware and self-indulgent is carefully walked and nobody falls. This is definitely a fringe show, it rides a wave of goodwill from an audience who want a good time. It doesn’t disappoint. I recommend this to fans of new musicals.